Coffee pods, compost and art

Revamp is the name of the project run by Mount Barker Community Centre, funded under our Social Justice Small Grants Program. The theme of the 2019 Social Justice Small Grants program was “Justice and the Environment”. The project involves creating compost from used coffee pods, developing compost beds, propagating plants and using the empty pods for art work.

Revamp is run wholly by women, all of whom are unable to continue in the general workforce for various reasons.

Revamp was set up to provide volunteers with an opportunity to upcycle and recycle old materials into usable items. There is a special focus on developing sustainable solutions to the reuse of general waste products.

One of the more commonly used and difficult items to recycle is the coffee pod. Coffee pod machines currently sell more than any other coffee making machine in Australia and there are a wide range of brands offering coffee pods. This project was developed to specifically recycle coffee pods.

  • Firstly, coffee inside the pod is reused as a compostable material to assist with the seed propagation
  • Secondly, the plastic pod is used for artistic purposes.

Revamp offers women the opportunity to develop skills in areas of recycling and upcycling, as well as creativity and design.

The project involved:

  • Information sessions to educate the community about the importance of reducing landfill-based waste and the opportunities on how this can be achieved
  • A coffee pod drop off bin has been developed and 27 households are regularly dropping off used coffee pods
  • Work has begun on large compost beds with support from Mount Barker Men’s Shed and Duck Flat Community garden
  • Artistic programs with the pods have provided an outlet for volunteers with skills and interests in art.

The compost has been used to propagate plants which have been sold in the Revamp shop, providing a contribution to their income.

More community members have become involved in the program, with the number of volunteers increasing from 12 to 21 since the program began.

This project continues to provide opportunities for women to volunteer in a capacity building program that has both social and environmental outcomes.